My kids seem to always collide into a classmate or fall on the ground. The teachers always grab an instant cold compress.
Even adults, will need to ice an injury like banging your knee against a cabinet or taking the wrong step on an uneven pavement, you will end up needing to reduce the swelling. If an instant cold compress is not available, you can use ice or a bag of peas or corn.
In an injury, tissue swells because of cell membrane damage.
Since the cell walls are compromised, blood flow is increased to the area and therefore swelling occurs. The cold from the ice reduces inflammation and the uncontrolled swelling. If the injury is left unchecked, the injury can increase the damage of the initial injury and cause damage to nearby tissue.
It is important to reduce the swelling to the injured body part immediately, and usually for 15-20 minutes on to reduce swelling and 45 minutes to an hour off to have the blood remove damaged tissue and begin healing.
Remove the ice if the part starts to feel numb. Keeping the ice on for too long can cause a cold injury such as frostbite. The first 48 hours are critical in order to improve the healing process and reduce the damage.
Instant cold compresses use a chemical process called endothermic reaction that absorbs heat.
An instant cold compress contains water and ammonium nitrate. The water is in an inner chamber, and the ammonium nitrate is in the outer bag. By squeezing and braking the water chamber, the combination of the water and ammonium nitrate creates the endothermic reaction that can reduce the temperature of the cold compress down to zero degrees.
Please involve a healthcare professional when an injury occurs.
Noah Lam has over 15 years of experience of providing high quality medical supplies and healthcare products from Acute Care Facilities to parents and children. His company, CWI Medical is a leading provider of mobility products to healthcare facilities and for home use. In addition, CWI Medical is an ACHC Accredited organization maintaining standards of excellence in the Healthcare Field.